Overriding interests are covered under s70 of the Land Registration Act 1925, which has now been replaced by the Land Registration Act 2002. Overriding interests are now dealt with under sch 1 and 2 of the 2002 Act. The case of Williams amp. Glyn Bank v Boland was one of the first cases to adopt this principle. In this case, a wife was able to claim an overriding interest in the property on the basis that she had made a substantial contribution to the purchase and was in actual occupation. This shows that in some cases the courts have regarded the actual occupation of the applicant to be treated as an overriding interest3.
In situations where a person is in actual occupation and can demonstrate an interest in that property, the court is unlikely to interfere with their right to remain in the property. Any attempt to do so would entitle that person to apply for proprietary estoppel on the basis of their contribution to the property4.
Proprietary estoppel was established in the cases of Willmott v Barber (1880) 16 Ch D and Ramsden v Dyson (1866) LR 1 HL 129 where five essential elements were highlighted that had to be satisfied before a legal owner would be prevented from asserting his legal rights. These five elements consisted of the plaintiff having expended some money or having done some act on the faith of their mistaken belief that they would acquire an interest in the land5. they must have made some mistake as to their legal rights. the defendant must know of the existence of his own right which is inconsistent with the plaintiffs rights. the defendant must be aware of the plaintiffs mistaken belief of his rights, and lastly, the defendant must have encouraged thenbsp.plaintiff to spend money in the way they have or have encouraged them to act in the way they did.